A comprehensive thermo-viscoelastic experimental investigation of Ecoflex polymer

Rukshan Navaratne, Zisheng Liao, Mokarram Hossainb, Xiaohu Yao, Gregory Chagnon

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    Abstract

    Silicone polymers have enormous applications, especially in the areas of biomedical engineering. Ecoflex, a commercially available room temperature cured silicone polymer, has attracted considerable attention due to its wide range of applications as medical-grade silicones and as matrix materials in producing nano-filled stretchable sensors and dielectric elastomers for soft robotics. In this contribution, we have conducted a wide range of experiments under thermo-mechanical loadings. These experiments consist of loading–unloading cyclic tests, single-step relaxation tests, Mullins effects tests at different strain rates and stretches, stress recovery tests at different rest time, etc. In order to assess the temperature influences on Ecoflex, a number of viscoelastic tests are performed in a thermal chamber with temperature ranging from -40°C to 140°C. Extensive experimental findings illustrate that Ecoflex experiences a significant stress softening in the first cycles and such a softening recovers gradually with respect to time. It also shows a significant amount of cyclic dissipations at various stretch levels as well as a considerable stress relaxation only for virgin samples. Cyclic dissipations and stress relaxation almost disappear for the case of pre-stretched samples. Furthermore, the material is more or less sensitive under a wide range of temperature differences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106478
    JournalPolymer Testing
    Volume86
    Early online date10 Mar 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020

    Keywords

    • Ecoflex
    • Stress recovery
    • Mullins effect
    • Temperature and strain rate dependence

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